San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preview
Where: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
When: Friday, August 11, 2017, 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NFL Network
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Betting on the San Francisco 49ers (+4)
The Niners have already taken a couple of big hits injury-wise in preseason. Rookie guard Josh Garnett is expected to miss some time with a knee injury, while veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith will miss the entire season with a torn pectoral.
Those two were expected to be starters this season, so the Niners must now try out possible replacements during their opening preseason game against the Chiefs.
Expect Matt Barkley and rookie CJ Beathard to get some significant reps at quarterback for new head coach Kyle Shanahan after likely starter Brian Hoyer does a couple of drives. Barkley performed well with the Chicago Bears last season and should be able to look good against the Chiefs’ second-stringers.
The Niners will also be looking at a few rookies—Trent Taylor and Joe Williams—who have impressed during camp and will aim to continue their upward trajectory.
And on defense, the Niners should give their first-rounders Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster a good run out. Foster, in particular, is in line for a larger role now that Smith is lost for the season.
Betting on the Kansas City Chiefs (-4)
All eyes will be on rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, whom the Chiefs traded up for to select at No. 10 in the draft. The Texas Tech product was widely considered an unpolished project during the draft process, but he has impressed thus far in camp. It’ll be interesting to see if he can immediately carry his fine play over to a live game setting.
But with Travis Kelce dealing with some swelling in his knee and last year’s breakout star Tyreek Hill likely to be limited, Mahomes will have to get at the Niners defense with second-string receivers Albert Wilson, Demarcus Robinson, and De’Anthony Thomas.
And on the other side of the ball, the Chiefs will likely play their first preseason game without a handful of their most recognizable names on defense. Safety Eric Berry, veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson, and defensive linemen Chris Jones and Bennie Logan all missed practice recently, presumably due to some health-related issues.
Their potential absence could give reserves like Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Ukeme Eligwe, Eric Murray and D.J. White the opportunity to impress and get some more snaps ahead of Week 1 of the regular season.
The Niners (+4) get off to a winning start in preseason as they upset the Chiefs on the road.
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